Miriam A. Golden
Miriam Golden teaches comparative politics in the Department of Political Science at UCLA. At the undergraduate level she teaches PS167D, “Political Institutions and Economic Development” and at the graduate level she teaches seminars on distributive politics and on inequality as well as participating in the instruction of the core seminar in the field of comparative politics. She is currently Chair of the American Political Science Association’s Organized Section in Political Economy and serves on the editorial boards of various U.S. and European professional journals. Her recent research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre, and the Governments of Quebec and Canada. Her current research projects are the following:
“Criminality and Malfeasance of National Legislators in Contemporary India,” joint with UCSD Ph.D. student Devesh Tiwari. Using court-mandated affidavits filed by all candidates to the Indian national legislature and state assemblies in the 2004 and 2009 elections, this study analyzes the characteristics of the electoral districts in which criminals are selected by political parties as candidates for office compared with districts whose parties are free of criminal penetration. The importance of the phenomenon is illustrated by the fact that a quarter of the members of India’s national legislature that was elected in 2004 were known criminals. Preliminary results show that criminals are more likely to capture political office where more voters are illiterate and where electoral competitiveness is more intense.
“Local Level Estimates of Corruption and Theft in the Energy Sector in Uttar Pradesh, India,” joint with UCLA Ph.D. student Brian Min. This project combines satellite data on night-time lighting with data from Uttar Pradesh’s energy corporation on receipts and sales in the electrical sector in order to generate local level estimates of the extent to which energy loss is due to corruption and theft. We study the political and partisan correlates of corruption and theft by examining local characteristics such as legislative criminality, partisan competition, and political capture by industry.
“Climate Change and Public Health among Canadian Inuit,” joint with UCLA Ph.D. student Brian Min. This study uses satellite data of changes in the ice melt along the east coast of Quebec and Nunavut to estimate whether the growing unpredictability in the weather is a contributing cause to incidents of antisocial and self-destructive behavior of inhabitants in Inuit villages.
“Uncontested Local Elections and Political Capture in Quebec and Nunavik,” joint with UCLA Ph.D. student Yuki Yanai. In the 1,100 municipalities of the province of Quebec, more than 60 percent of mayors enter office having faced no electoral competition. This project examines the conditions under which unopposed elections occur. Preliminary analysis shows that political competition is less likely to occur in small towns with high rates of poverty and monolingual Francophone populations. The study also analyzes data on local elections over a ten year period in the 14 Inuit villages of the northern part of the province. Almost all mayoral elections in these villages have been contested, despite the Inuit’s lack of experience with electoral democracy.
“Incumbency of Italian Legislators, 1948 to 1994,’ joint with Lucio Picci, University of Bologna. This project analyzes the electoral returns to pork and patronage for members of the Italian national legislature over a forty-five year period.